Throughout Star Wars Universe we have stumbled upon the term Transfer Essence or Essence Transfer on several occasions.
What exactly is the Essence Transfer? Is it a key to eternal life? Is there anyone who performed the ability successfully?
According to the legends lore, Essence Transfer is a Dark Side force power that allows transferring one’s consciousness to another person’s body. In some rare cases, individual would transfer their consciousness into an inanimate object.
“Essence transfer is the secret of eternal life. The physical body will always weaken and fail, yet it is nothing but a shell or vessel. When it is time, it is possible to transfer your consciousness—your spirit—into a new vessel…“
~ Darth Andeddu
The technique can be used only by the most powerful Dark Side users, as the performance requires extreme focus and near-complete understanding of the Dark Side of the Force.
Powerful Dark Side users have used the technique to cheat death over and over, ensuring their survival throughout centuries.
However, practitioners only have one chance during the transfer, because the bodies are be consumed by the Dark Side of the Force the second the ritual is performed.
That being said, if the target of the possession is still alive, a battle of wills is to come, leaving only one victor in the end. If the possessor defeats the possessed, he will take control of the body. However, if the possessed’s will is strong enough, he can surpass the attacker, leaving him or her wander the eternal void until the end of time.
“The ritual is fraught with danger. Attempting it will cause the current vessel to be destroyed; your body will be consumed by the power of the dark side.“
~ Darth Andeddu
Given the danger of the ritual, its complex preparation, performance and unpredictable consequences, the practitioners of the modern era often chose to clone their bodies, thus ensuring uninterrupted essence transfer.
“The dying is painful. The transition is not an enjoyable experience. But it is all a small price to pay…for eternal life.“
~ Darth Sidious
According to the lore, one of the first Sith Lords who successfully performed Essence Transfer was Karness Muur, who bound his spirit to an ancient talisman. Muur was powerful enough to take control of anyone who was in possession of the talisman.
Darth Andeddu also possessed the knowledge of Essence Transfer, but, for reasons unknown he did not perform the ability prior to his physical death. However, he stored all his knowledge, including the essence transfer technique into his personal Holocron.
The Sith Emperor Vitiate mastered the art to such extent that the ability allowed him to rein for over 1000 years using a number of bodies he called Emperor’s Voice.
Exar Kun is another great example, who, unlike other Sith Lords, used the technique of Essence Transfer to bind his spirit to Massassi temples on Yavin IV.
Set Harth, a Dark Jedi also learned the technique from Darth Andeddu’s holocron. Harth used perfectly engineered clones and he used dozens of them, until he deliberately decided to stop the eternal life for reasons unknown.
Darth Sidious also used the technique to transfer his consciousness to his own clones, however, in this particular case, he experienced massive degradation of his cloned bodies.
Darth Plagueis had the knowledge and possibly, the strength to use the technique successfully, however, he deliberately avoided it, as he wanted to find a solution to eternal life which allowed him to keep his own body.
Would you go for it?
I know what you’re thinking – “Of course! How could someone not go for something like this?”
While the concept may sound great, if you really think about it, you would have to witness deaths of your loved ones, watching how governments rise and fall and considering human nature, possibly witness a war.
Is it worth it? In the end, it is up to you.
Image sources: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Transfer_essence